Kahlil Gibran’s “On Children”

October 31, 2011 | By | Reply More

How often do you cross paths with a parent who is attempting to make his or her children in the parent’s image and likeness? I see it on a regular basis. The prototypical case is the parent who didn’t make it to the Broadway stage who tries to turn his/her child into a Broadway performer. You often see parents who demand athletic excellence from their kids, often (it seems) in an effort to compensate for the parent’s failed strivings to make it big in sports. This style of parenting reaches every high-earning or high-prestige profession.  Or maybe it’s not to make up for the parents own failings as much as it is an attempt to create a trophy child so that, at cocktail parties, the parent can nonchalantly drop a few hints about his or her child’s (sometimes admittedly spectacular) accomplishments.

This afternoon, a friend sent me a perfect antidote for this mindset. It’s a poem by Kahlil Gibran, titled “On Children.”

Upon reading it, I was reminded of the following quote by Friedrich Nietzsche:  “What does your conscience say? — ‘You should become the person you are’.”


Category: children, Quotes, Writing

About the Author ()

Erich Vieth is an attorney focusing on consumer law litigation and appellate practice. He is also a working musician and a writer, having founded Dangerous Intersection in 2006. Erich lives in the Shaw Neighborhood of St. Louis, Missouri, where he lives half-time with his two extraordinary daughters.

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